When the Islamic Invasion of Europe was halted at the Gates of Vienna in 1683
The Battle of Kahlenberg, which was the culmination of the Second Siege of Vienna, came to a head on September 12th 1683, and effectively saved Europe from being overrun by the Ottoman Turks.
The Ottoman Turks had occupied the whole of the Balkans and the Kingdom of Hungary and in July 16th 1683, a 150,000 strong Turkish army under the command of Visir Kara Mustafa Pasha laid siege to Vienna, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.
Kara Mustafa needed a victory in order to bolster his unstable position and hoped that by taking Vienna, the Turks would be able to conquer the whole of Eastern Europe.
The Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I, also appeared to be in a weak position as he was constantly under threat from Louis XIV of France and Kara Mustafa, who had put together largest Muslim force since the time of Saladi, must have felt very confident when the siege began on July 16th.
However, the Turks’ lack of artillery gave Leopold I time to ask the Pope for help and the Pontiff called a crusade, which was answered by all the Christian countries of Europe either by providing troops or money.
The notable exception was France and as Louis XIV, gave support to the Muslim invasion of Europe, he received the nickname “The Moorish King”.
On September 12th 1683, a mainly Polish and German force with support from Austrian nobles and Italian volunteers, mustered outside the gates of Vienna under the leadership of Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, accompanied by the Margrave Louis William of Baden-Baden, known as Türkenlouis or Louis the Turk, and Duke Charles V of Lorraine.
The Christian force was about half the size of the Turkish army in number and as it was also lacking in artillery, the Turkish generals decided not put their troops in formation.
Taking advantage of this, the Christians launched a full-scale cavalry attack and in the ensuing battle, which was brief but extremely violent, the Turks lost 20,000 troops in a few hours and the army was left in disarray or fled.
The Battle of Kahlenberg supposed the end of Turkish incursions into Europe, which had been going on for the previous two centuries, and from then on the Ottoman Empire began to decline.
The Muslim takeover of Europe had once again been halted. This time at the Gates of Vienna.